Digital technologies, such as ever-higher-quality communications and remote management with virtual reality or telepresence, will make countries less reliant on simple products for exports: higher quality interactions will become easier over vast distances. They open up scope for growth strategies that involve more complicated goods and especially services: not just call centres, but integrated design, or accountancy services, and even remote health or personal care. In the report, we identify five emerging tech-based pathways for prosperity, including some with more domestically driven growth engines, that go beyond past successful strategies.
Our report on digital technologies articulates a concern that current business models and the nature of government action in most countries will not lead to a route to including these three billion. We will need new business models as well as better government action, including sensible regulation of tax and data. The market alone will not deliver inclusion.
Tech shouldn’t be scared of governance rules; it should definitely not behave as if the only alternative to a libertarian world of totally free markets, including for data, is a model identified with China in which the state controls all, including the on-off switch. India is interesting here. Despite its enormous potential, there has been a backlash on its digital identity system Aadhar.